Canberra’s climate change brain drain becoming critical

Climate change expertise is being lost from the public sector as the government fails to fill board vacancies and departments stop commissioning climate policy modelling from ABARES.

Public sector agencies are losing climate change expertise thanks to the government’s resistance to a strong policy response to the issue, it was revealed at Senate Estimates on Tuesday.

The government has allowed the Climate Change Authority’s board to atrophy to the point where it risks losing quorum if another member leaves, while Australia’s foremost agricultural research body has lost most of its climate change workforce, including its dedicated climate change section.

Only five of nine Climate Change Authority’s board positions are currently filled following a series of resignations over the past year and a half. Filling those roles is up to the government, which has not yet acted to replace any of those who have left.

The CCA is charged with undertaking reviews and making recommendations to government on emissions reduction targets and other climate change-related policy areas.

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